Chaim Koppelman (1920 - 2009): A Memorial Exhibition at the Terrain Gallery   [ to return click here ]

Napoleon entering Coney Island at Night, 1958, aquatint

Napoleon Bonaparte is a subject I keep digging into—seven decades so far. It began when I drew a profile of him in my geography book when I was nine years old.

      In I960, something every artist has yearned for, including Rembrandt, happened to me. In an Aesthetic Realism Art Inquiry, Eli Siegel described an intention I had had for many years. He explained I was dealing with the problem of the individual and democracy. Napoleon, he said, represented the pushing sense of one's individuality, the Emperor in oneself, and also the desire for democracy. He said I was trying to put my imperial self—the self that wanted to run other people, including my parents—together with my democratic self, represented by New York and Coney Island.   —CK, from "My Dramatic Autobiography"

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